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Beware of Winter Rodents

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Beware of Winter Rodents

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November 18, 2011

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The rodents that dash indoors as uninvited winter guests aren’t nearly as lovable as any of the furry friends in popular cartoons, but their sinister plots to take over your home are comparable to the likes of Pinky and the Brain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents spread over 35 diseases worldwide, some of which are fatal or have lasting side-effects. Allergens from mice and rats also present health threats in the form of allergies and asthma attacks.

“Mice disperse hundreds of urine micro-droplets as they peruse your pantry and scurry throughout your home, polluting every inch they cross,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). “And if that’s not off-putting enough, think about the allergic reaction that can be caused by the odor of a decaying mouse that died stuck between the walls or in the attic,”

The commonly seen deer mouse is known for transmitting hantavirus, a rare but potentially fatal virus found in North America. Other rodent-related diseases are salmonellosis, tularemia and rat-bite fever — many of which are transferred from ticks or mites living on the rodents. But that isn’t the only kind of baggage mice and rats bring with them — their damage can be twofold.

Rodents don’t just target your health and food, they frequently cause structural damage to your home. Aside from leaving the telltale dark brown droppings, a common sign of an infestation, mice and rats are capable of chewing through wood, pipes, aluminum, cement and sheet rock. Plus, wires-turned-chew toys can lead to electrical shortages and fires.

As colder temperatures spur a rodent migration, seal up any holes or cracks around walls, doors and windows. Deer mice and house mice are able to squeeze through spaces the size of a nickel, such as those found next to pipes and weather stripping. If you notice holes and rips in cereal boxes and other pantry food items along with a trail of droppings, it’s time to call your pest professional.

Learn more about rodent prevention at www.pestworld.org, including how to find a pest management professional near you.

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